And here we are. Helensburgh!

So yeah – as I alluded to in the last post, shortly before pledging weekly/more frequent updates, we were moving. And now we have – to sunny Helensburgh. About an hour south of where I used to live, and I’ve already utterly smashed my old house list, in terms of quality, and most of that has just been in moving and hanging out.

Best birds seen in/over/from my yard in the 5 days that I’ve had the keys are: Square-tailed Kite, which is obviously hanging out nearby as I’ve seen (what I assume to be) the same bird 3 times now, the nesting Sacred Kingfishers which are just over the fence, Boobooks visiting my front tree (along with duelling Boobooks calling for most of the night) and having Satin Bowerbirds visiting/flying past daily. My old best bird on the house list in 8 years of Outer-Inner Western Sydney was a passing through juvenile Rufous Whistler, and probably next best on the house list was Black-faced Cuckoo-Shrike. And prior to that in proper Inner Western Sydney would have been Koel. So not much chop. My old house list as well was around 55 species, which is pretty bloody solid, but here, in 5 days, I’m up to 47 (my total Helensburgh list, for the whole suburb, and a much larger area than just my house block is somewhere in the 70’s). I am very confident that I will have destroyed the old PB for “biggest house list” by the time our lease is up.

And mammal wise, I’ve also killed it. The old house list was Fruit-bats, 1 rat, and a couple of mice. Here I’ve had Fruit-bats, some sort of micro-bat/s buzzing around the street light, and a deer just up the road as we came in on the day the removalists did their sordid task. I’ll take microbats over rats and mice any day of the week, and I’ll quite happily take deer over rats and mice as an introduced species as well. I haven’t gone spotlighting in my patch of bush which is … 20 meters from my back door yet, but I’ll get into that shortly. There are some frogs calling as well, but I’ll get onto them later. No reptiles yet apart from a couple of skinks which were too fast for ID purposes, but if there’s more than just garden skinks, I’ll have more diversity here than in lovely Campsie. The spiders are more different – I’ve seen about 2-3 species I can’t ID and don’t recall having seen anywhere prior, which is good, and the beetles and butterflies make for all new types of bugs and flying things that I’m enjoying having around. Jr is also quite enamoured with the numbers of butterflies… I’ll make a nature dude out of him yet.

Anyway – tomorrow is a rest day, which means I’ll be up at sparrow’s and off to the Royal for a dawn birding trip. I can’t wait to get down to my new local patch, which I have visited near countless times before, but that has always involved at least a 45 minute drive each way. Now it’s a sub-10 minute trip to one of my favourite places in the park. To be fair, I will miss being in close proximity to Olympic Park and Eastlakes Golf-course (easily some of Sydney’s best birding locations), but you know… I won’t miss it as much as I’ll enjoy living here. He says after 1 nights sleep at the new address. ;) hahaha.

Anyway – hopefully I’ll post more regularly, but I’m not making promises anymore. That just breaks hearts.